Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

I realize how fast time goes by when there’s a new weekly photo challenge. I’m always looking forward to this challenge, because it gives me a good reason to go through my favorite photo album: My trip through Mexico. I did my internship in Oaxaca – Mexico in 2011 and ever since I can’t stop thinking about this amazing country and it’s wonderful people. I love using my Mexico pictures, because they all have a special meaning to me and I remember every single moment.

Picture uno: I sat in the bus to Puerto Escondido playing with my camera when I saw this cute couple. I caught them giving each other a quick kiss. Just too cute!

Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido

Picture dos: Puerto Escondido has one of the best surfing beaches in da world! Of course I wanted to scratch ‘surfing’ off my bucket list so I took a lesson. I’m not a pro. Not even a talent. This is just a lucky picture of me being able to keep standing up for more than 10 seconds. But I loved it!

Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido

Picture tres: Of course I visited Zócalo (Plaza de la Constitución) when I was in Mexico City. The Zócalo in Mexico City is 57,600 metres² (240 m × 240 m) and one of the largest city squares in the world. It is beautiful and really nice to walk around. I saw these people having a quick lunch. Only the dad noticed me, right at the moment I took the picture.

Mexico City

Mexico City

Picture cuatro: I like to show more pictures of my Dutch life. I took this picture in Schiedam for my photography course last year. I love that even though all objects are blurry,  you can still see everything.

Schiedam - The Netherlands

Schiedam – The Netherlands

Let me know what you think if you want to (: Thanks and good luck on this challenge!

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My Exchange to the USA, part V

Last time I wrote about my first day in the USA and now it’s time to continue the story!

I started my second day in our pool. It was amazing to have a pool in my back yard, because hardly anyone in Holland have it since it’s expensive and the weather sucks most of the time. I started this self-made workout program in my pool which I was gonna do every day for the rest of the year. I guess I did it like 6 times… After my workout session my host-aunt Cindy took her daughter Jessica, Sandy and me to the mall in Orlando. I honestly thought my new cousin was pregnant but she wasn’t. She was just a lil big (think; fair round belly). So first we went to this place called Sweet Tomatoes and I totally loved it. It’s a salad bar where you can also eat a lot of pizza and ice cream and soup etc. Unfortunately nobody else really liked it so I never returned.

The shopping session was great. I looooved the big mall. My second day was actually a good day. I started to like America.

The next day I spent in bed because I felt sick. It was burning hot outside but with all the air conditioning I caught a cold. I never realized I could be freezing cold while it’s like 86 degrees outside.

Some things that caught my attention those days:
– Most ppl drive big cars
–  Most ppl don’t let their dogs out more often than twice a day = poop and pie in las casas.
– When you buy smth the price on the tag doesn’t include tax. So when I got all excited and went to the counter to pay for my scarf I was so proud I’d counted the coins myself. I felt like a real American with my dollar money.  Until that awkward moment I had to pay more than I just took out of my wallet bc of the tax and decided to just use my debit card to make the situation less embarrassing. It wasn’t that bad, but at the time I felt so stupid ;p.

That’s it for now. Next time more. I really enjoy writing about my high school year. It’s been almost 3 years since I left! Time flies too fast.

My Exchange to the USA, part I
My Exchange to the USA, part II
My Exchange to the USA, part III
My Exchange to the USA, part IV

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Sign Says

Mhhh. Interesting challenge. It’s hard to ‘find’ funny signs. But I was lucky 🙂 I found to old pictures.

I took the first one in Paris in 2011. When we went out I saw this sign and I thought “What a smart way of making traffic fun!’. Don’t you agree?! I wish we had these kind of signs in Holland.

The second picture is me throwing myself in a trash can. The sign says “Deposit trash here”. It’s taken in Mexico during my internship in 2011. My friends and I went to visit the falls and wanted a picture in front of the beautiful view.

Fun topic!

Paris

Mexico

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

Pattern. Well there’s a pattern in almost everything.
For this week’s challenge I’ve chosen pics of animals, because their skin/fur is so beautiful.

My fav? The peacock!

I took the pictures of the baby crocodiles and the turtles in Mexico when I went on an ‘eco-tour’. The baby crocodiles were crawling over each other; freaky but cool!
The turtles made a nice pattern by laying down in a circle.

The peacock, zebra, tiger and giraffe can be found in the Zoo of Barcelona. I love zoos and this one was very nice!
Oh, and the poop-picture? I thought it made a nice pattern 😉

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Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

So… This sucks! I always use pictures I really like for this challenge, but from above? Pfooo, tough shit!
I did find two pics that I kinda like… I took them in Leeds – England last year. I don’t really remember what kinda building I stood on, I guess a church or something. What I do remember are those stairs. Fkkk, my poor little legs could hardly bear the climb.

Anyways, my entry for this week isn’t really exciting. I guess I should go out more often and take pictures especially for this challenge. Maybe I will.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

I’m so madly in love with the Mexican culture!! Colorful, friendly, open, warm and beautiful are words I use when I tell about Mexico. Since I really like using my ‘Mexico pics’ for the Weekly Photo Challenge I limited myself this time a little: All these pictures are taken in Oaxaca. Oaxaca is the capital of the state Oaxaca and totally worth visiting!

Usually I post like 4 photo’s in a challenge, but I have so many pictures I wanna share. Here’s a wide variety of my entry;

The church in the 8th picture is the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán (el Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán). It’s an extremely fancy church and there are over 60,000 sheets of 23,5 karat gold leaf used for the decoration of the interior. Crazy right.

I love to take pictures of Mexican people. Their faces are absolutely stunning, especially when they get older. I can’t wait to go back to the country I love most of all and to those loving people. Me encanta la cultura Mexicana!

My Exchange to the USA, part IV

You know when you’re freaking excited for something. Like the beyond excited kinda excitement? That you actually wanna keep talking and bite people just to get your mind off things? Well, that’s what I was like when I finally jumped in that plane and flew from Amsterdam to Orlando for a once in a lifetime experience.

Like I said before, my arrival in Orlando wasn’t as I expected. Call me naïve, I know I am, but I believed every crap I saw in Mean Girls. American movies made me wanna go to the States, to be part of the perfect life I thought I was looking for. And then I was there. No ‘welcome home’ banner, no cupcakes. Only big people and a huge tv.

I like exaggerating. I don’t do it on purpose, it just feels natural. However, my amount of self-knowledge is sky high. But in this case you just gotta believe me; some things were actually bad. I woke up the next morning in my new town: Saint Cloud, a lil shitty place close to Orlando – Florida. The dog pie was still on the floor and the stains were still on the furniture, but the sun was shining and that just made me feel happy. The fact we went to Pizza Hut might’ve made my first day in the US a whole lot better too.

After I had breakfast (cornflakes, ugh) I got (over)dressed and we went to something that Americans call a yard sale. You gotta understand; in Holland we don’t do that kinda stuff. We may go to flee markets, which we like to call ‘trash markets’, but we’re not gonna sell a bunch of old dusty stuff in our yard. At the same moment I experienced my first yard sale, I met a cowboy for the first time too. I didn’t know there were still people alive that thought of themselves as cowboys, but evidently there are and a lot of them like being in Shitty Saint Cloud. The cowboy tried to hook me up with his cowboy grandson. Although he couldn’t sell us any junk nor get his boy a date, he remained smiling.

“Hiiii my name is Kelly and if you need anything just let me knooooooow 😀 😀 😀 :D” Pizza Hut and also the first ‘restaurant’ I went to. I was in shock when the waitress told me her name. Again, we don’t do that in Holland. I though this girl was on drugs or whatever because she almost danced around while giving us her fake white smile. Apparently Americans like that kinda stuff and give more tips. It’s either that or showing your ass and boobs as a waitress in Hooters or whatever tiny-dressed-waitress-place you like. I guess Kelly chose right.

Another big deal was the ice tea. I got so excited when Kelly told me they had it.(excited is my favorite English word since I called my host mom a week before my exchange and she asked me 12 times in 1 minute if I was excited. I assumed it was an important word). It was the first and last time I ordered ice tea in America. In Holland (gosh I sound like someone who thinks everything in Holland is better, don’t I?) we drink Lipton Ice Tea with and without carbonation, but it tastes good as hell. In fact, it’s my favorite kind of soda. In America people brew their own tea and may even add a shitload of sugar too. Ugh.

To end this exciting day we went to Wal-Mart. Wow, THE biggest supermarket I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe they even sold clothes and there were hair salons and other fancy shops inside the supermarket itself.

I went to bed after having 6 little meatballs for supper. Everything had been huge so far, except for my appetite in strange food.

Dirty furniture and a big-ass TV

Dirty furniture and a big-ass TV

p.s. Yes, I’ve allowed myself to write the way I like to write these kinda things. A lil inappropriate (:

Also:
My Exchange to the USA, part I
My Exchange to the USA, part II
My Exchange to the USA, part III

My Exchange to the USA, part III

Earlier I wrote about why I went to the USA and how I met my host mom Sandy. Today I’ll tell you about my first day in Saint Cloud – Florida!

After we’d dropped my ‘new’ aunt Cindy off and went home I stood in my driveway for the very first time. The house looked so huge to me (I’m living in an average terrace house in Holland) and I was surprised that the neighbourhood I was gonna live in had a stone fence around it. Ok. The outside of the house looked fine to me and the district seemed quiet and peaceful and all that crap.

My host mom Sandy had told me once on the phone she had 5 little dogs. 5. No, you’re not misreading it. FIVE! When I entered the house the little monsters started barking at me while running around like lil maniacs. I didn’t have much time to pay attention to the house nor to the dogs because Sandy’s lil neighbour, cousin Barbie and her two daughters were waiting for me. Barbie seemed like a lovely woman but the kids kept staring at me like they’d never seen a European.
When I had a drink I got this huge cup filled with ice from the huge fridge (not many people have a fridge like that where I’m from).

Maybe it was because I was so tired or maybe I wasn’t exaggerating (I probably was though) but after exploring the house and writing my diary I couldn’t handle it anymore and started to cry. Everything was so dirty.  I called my mom for a while and she told me to calm down, which obviously didn’t work.

The kids hadn’t said a word to me and I just wanted to go home to my clean room in my clean house with my normal mommy and daddy and my silent cat.

I wrote in my diary:
“I’m finally at Sandy’s. The flight was okay and everything went well. But I keep crying because the house is so dirty. The couch, my blankets… Everything! […] Sandy is nice but she eats so unhealthy and is addicted to potato chips. Her cousin is here too and the kids are simply terrible. […] Why the **** did I come here?!”

I probably just needed a good night rest, but I’ll write about that next time!

The House

The House

Sandy

Sandy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Valencia – Spain 

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Summer 2012. I went to Valencia – Spain for a three-month internship.
One day I walked around the city centre when a big demonstration came by. Those people were there for a reason: They simply wanted change!

My exchange to the USA, part II

A couple of days ago I wrote why I decided to go to Florida for a year. Today I’ll write about the day I left Holland and met my hostmom Sandy.

Leaving Holland for a year was kinda a big deal for me and my friends and family. Of course I couldn’t leave without throwing a 18th bday / graduation / farewell party. I had so much fun and my friend Matthijs took pictures to capture the moments.

August 6th. It was finally the day. The day I would say goodbye to my parents, family, boyfriend and friends and leave Holland for America, the country of my dreams. I was totally ready to go. Together with two other students I went from Amsterdam to London. The goodbye part was so hard. The worst was seeing my mom and boyfriend crying. When I went through customs I thought “What the f… am I doing?” But I knew I was just having a moment and so we kept walking and went (almost late) on the plane.

In London we met a bunch of European students who were wearing the same t-shirt as we did with STS Highschool on the front. (Ok. I wasn’t actually wearing it but I carried it with me!) From London we would fly together to Chicago – Illinois. The flight wasn’t as bad as I expected and I started to get more excited by the minute. When I finally transferred to Orlando – Florida I immediately fell asleep because I had been up for hours.

Orlando – Florida. The moment was almost there. I was gonna meet my hostmother Sandy. I’d received one blurry picture of her and that was it. I’d spoken to her on the phone like 3 times and we’d e-mailed a couple of times but to be honest I had no clue where I was gonna meet her. I assumed she would be waiting for me in the arrival hall. I couldn’t have been more wrong…

First I couldn’t find my damn bags but since I had a huge pink suitcase it was no problem for the staff to find it. Bags? Check! Host family? Nope.  I walked around for like ten minutes without knowing what kind of woman I was looking for. I decided to go to the information desk and ask if they could broadcast my message (Where the hell is Sandy?). Fortunately they didn’t have to because a big woman came to me and said: “Hé, are you Bridget?” I assumed she was my hostmom and walked with her. I didn’t understand a sh*t of her story because she kept talking about my hostmom and her sister being always late and that they were waiting outside but when a woman who looked like the blurry picture jumped out of a car and introduced herself as Sandy Singh it all made sense. The big woman was Mary-Ellen, my area-representative who kinda had forgotten to introduce herself. Sandy and her sister Cindy didn’t find it necessary to come inside and get me so they’d waited outside. I felt so stupid, because I had expected a big American “Welcome Home Britt”  thingie.

I think I’d never been as quiet as while we headed to Saint Cloud, the city that was gonna be ‘home’ for the next months…

*Next time I’ll tell you about my first night and day at my new home.

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